I Want to Help a Friend or Relative Manage Their Affairs

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

There are options for assisting people who have not made personal planning documents in advance, and need help now to deal with their financial, legal, health and/or personal affairs. If the person is considered mentally capable, see the options in the question I want to get my affairs in order in case I become incapable. If the person needs help with making decisions due to a condition that has affected their mental capability, some of the options are:

  • Representation Agreement Section 7 (RA7): The RA7 would allow your friend or relative to appoint one or more representatives to assist in making the following:
    • routine financial decisions (e.g. managing pension deposits and paying bills)
    • legal decisions (e.g. hiring a lawyer)
    • health care decisions (e.g. medications, tests, dental visits)
    • personal care decisions (e.g. living arrangements, exercise)
  • Committeeship: Committeeship is a formal procedure to apply for adult guardianship, where the adult is declared mentally incompetent and a "committee" is appointed by BC Supreme Court to manage their affairs. Committeeship removes the adult's decision-making ability and is a 'last resort' option.

First steps[edit]

Representation Agreement Section 7 (RA7)[edit]

  1. See the publication Representation Agreement Overview to consider the options and help you determine if an RA7 is the right choice.
  2. Identify the potential representative(s), alternates and monitor. There are multiple roles that people can have in the agreement.
  3. Make a Representation Agreement. See the resource Legal forms for Representation Agreements which contain guidance and standard forms for different types of Representation Agreements. You can also get help from a lawyer or notary who is familiar with drafting personal planning documents.
You must be at least 19 years of age to make a Representation Agreement in British Columbia.


  1. See the publications Committeeship and the Private Committee Handbook for more information.
  2. Consult with a lawyer about the procedures to apply to Supreme Court, which include obtaining sworn statements (affidavits) from one or usually two doctor(s) licensed to practice in BC and costs several thousand dollars.

Where to get help[edit]

See the Resource List in this Guide for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:

Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Audrey Jun, March 2017.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.

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A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."

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Normally referred to as the "Supreme Court of British Columbia," this court hears most court proceedings in this province. The Supreme Court is a court of inherent jurisdiction and is subject to no limits on the sorts of claims it can hear or on the sorts of orders it can make. Decisions of the Provincial Court are appealed to the Supreme Court; decisions of the Supreme Court are appealed to the Court of Appeal. See "Court of Appeal," "jurisdiction," "Provincial Court," and "Supreme Court of Canada."

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A lawyer or a person other than a lawyer who helps clients with legal issues; to argue a position on behalf of a client.

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